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I'm a married knitter, crocheter, and newbie spinner living in the Maryland suburbs with my photographer- computer geek hubby, 3 cats, and 3 dogs. And yarn. A LOT of yarn. Just ask my hubby.


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Bye Bye, Tree

When we bought this house 4-1/2 years ago, one of the things that Kris really loved was the ridiculously huge willow oak in the middle of the backyard.  Since then, we’ve had some adventures with it.  There was the day that Kris and a couple of our friends took down a low branch that turned out to be one big bee’s nest, and there was the day that a random branch dropped in the middle of the yard.  Well, those adventures are coming to an end.  We’ve talked a lot about having it checked out, worried that if it wasn’t healthy and fell, it would take out our house.  (It’s over 100 years old, as far as we can tell, and is a good 3-4 stories tall, in addition to being up on the little hill in the yard.)


A few days ago, we had a knock on the door from the electric company.  In an effort to prevent downed lines due to falling branches, they are trimming anything that is within 6′ of the power lines, straight to the sky.  A significant part of Big Tree is within that range.  If they have to take more than 25% of the tree, they will take the whole tree.  We debated a little bit about it, but we realized that this is an opportunity we can’t pass up.  It would cost us several thousand dollars to have the tree removed, and BGE is going to cover all of it through this program.  So, the big tree is going.


It’s going to be strange not having it.  It shades a LOT of the yard – one of the branches reaches to the roof of the porch – so I think the grass situation will change next year.  We’ll also have a lot fewer crazy squirrels running through the trees – they use it as a route from tree to tree, since it reaches to the neighbors’ yards on either side of us.


Bye bye, Big Tree.

17 comments to Bye Bye, Tree

  • That’s too bad. But I suppose it’s a blessing too. Bye, Tree!

  • We had a ginormous tree in our backyard removed last year. Like yours, it was huge and shady, but very old. One bad storm and it could’ve taken down the house. It was sad to see it go, but we like to think it had a good life. 🙂

  • Awww…a bummer for sure, I love old trees!But glad they are paying for it.

  • amy

    When I was a kid, we had two maples in the back yard. One was the PERFECT climbing tree. My parents had both taken out when I was in college. I’m sure they were sick and needed to go, but it still makes me sad. It does, however, help that our backyard is essentially a yard that goes straight into woods. We have plenty of trees to look at and none of them need to be maintained. That doesn’t suck 🙂

    Take lots of pictures! 🙂

  • Bye Bye big tree, hello big pile of firewood? You should plant a tree as soon as possible, fall is a good season to do that.

  • Jo

    Be ready for sinkholes/potholes in your yard next year. There was a maple in our backyard once – was removed the year before we bought the house. The yard as sunk in areas where the roots have died. We have had to re-level the yard with more topsoil, sand, and grass seed.

  • Ack, I think I have the same problem in my front yard (or will in a year or so..)

  • You can plant a little tree in big tree’s memory. Maybe even find a fruit tree you’d like. A living memorial to your big tree (without the bee’s nest)

  • whichendisup

    Oh… that’s kind of sad, but planting another tree in it’s place is a wonderful idea. bye bye big tree!

  • bezzie

    Or turn the stump into a planter…a sort of memorial.

  • Aw, that’s very sad. We had to have a big tree taken out of our yard a few years ago, too–a huuuuuge sycamore. But the power company took ours down, too. I was home when they did it. They made me come out of the house just in case, and it made such a jagnormous body-thudding jaw rattling noise when it came down! The cats were freaked for days. But then I took some of the branches and incorporated them into my garden. So we still have some of that tree around. Maybe you can save some bits? Or try to start a new tree from one of the small branches?

  • That sucks. Too bad there isn’t a cheap way to bury lines underground. You should see the trees in my parents’ neighborhood – very, very weird shapes due to the company sawing of offending branches.

  • Very sad, but at least you don’t have to pay for it!

  • Oh dear, what an awfull but neccesary decision to make…

  • Your yard is going to look so different without that huge tree back there. I guess if it probably had to go anyway, its good the electric company is going to pay for it. Have fun coming up with a new look for your yard, gotta make sure you enjoy your view from the hot tub.

  • Yorkie

    Hrm…if it’s really that old, it might be an original Bowie tree from when the Mansion was still a mansion and not whatever it is now. You might consider a call to City Hall to see if there’s some sort of protection order on it, just out of curiosity.

    That being said, willows are WRETCHED trees, and I cannot tell you how much I hate them and what they do to drainage systems. They’re more opportunistic than poison ivy or honeysuckle.

  • I’ve got one word for you….